The World Series of Poker Main Event final table kicked off with a packed house in the Penn & Teller Theater at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino. The final nine players had rousing introductions as they made their way to the stage minutes before the near-live broadcast.
When the ESPN cameras went live WSOP Tournament Director Jack Effel invited 2012 WSOP Main Event Champ Greg Merson on stage for the honorary “Shuffle up and deal!” Merson addressed the table and the crowd, telling them that this was the most important night in poker.
It only took two hands for chips to start flying around the table with a preflop four-bet. Marc-Entienne McLaughlin opened from the cutoff and J.C. Tran three-bet to 2.15 million on the button. The blinds folded and McLaughlin four-bet to 5.4 million – to the deafening approval of his rail. Tran took a good few moments to think, re-checked his hole cards and tossed his cards back to the dealer.
The aggression continued and three hands later McLaughlin opened again and Mark Newhouse moved all in from the big blind. McLaughlin called with pocket kings and Newhouse tabled pocket queens and was only 17% to survive with his short stack. But the flop fell Q 7 2, giving Newhouse a flopped set turned the tables to be a 91% favorite. The board bricked with T 5 and Newhouse doubled up to just shy of 15 million.
David Benefield open-shoved his short stack on the button and Sylvain Loosli took a minute before calling. Benefield tabled K 9 for his tournament life and Loosli had him out-kicked with K J and was a 65% favorite to earn the first knockout of the night. The flop fell J 7 3 and Benefield was 38% to double up. The 2 turn sealed the hand for Benefield and he doubled to 9.4 million.
Shortly after Benefield made a big fold after a dead-on read on Brummelhuis. The hand began when McLaughlin opened, Benefield made it 2.5 million to play in late position and Brummelhuis moved all in from the big blind. McLaughlin folded, Benefield tanked for a short while and the folded pocket tens. Brummelhuis picked up the pot holding pocket aces.
Final Table Chip Counts at End of Level
- J.C. Tran – 34,200,000
- Amir Lehavot – 33,150,000
- Ryan Riess – 31,075,000
- Jay Farber – 25,625,000
- Marc-Etienne McLaughlin – 23,525,000
- Sylvain Loosli – 13,775,000
- Michiel Brummelhuis – 13,525,000
- Mark Newhouse – 8,450,000
- David Benefield – 7,350,000
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